Stephen Hancock first appeared on Coronation Street as a Baby Shop Assistant in May 1961 and later as Leonard Swindley's election agent Mr. Spinks in 1962. He then made his debut as lay-preacher Ernest Bishop, firstly in one episode in 1967 (the character was credited as "Gordon Bishop"), then he became a regular character from 1969 to 1978. His other credits include The Avengers, Crossroads, Agatha Christie's Poirot and Heartbeat.
Some eighteen months after leaving Coronation Street, Hancock appeared on the Thames Television This England documentary Death on the Street which was transmitted on 26th July 1979 and which examined the public's reaction to the death of long-running characters in the programme.
A musician as well as an actor, he handled the arrangements for a Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona in the early 1990s.